One of the issues re-legalization will need to address is criminal convictions for something that is now legal. Without a lot of fanfare, the state of New York is getting the process underway.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said a little more than a week ago that he would seek out and pardon thousands of people who were convicted of nonviolent crimes as teenagers but have since led law-abiding lives.
Envisioned as a way to remove stubborn barriers to employment, housing and other services, the pardons would be available to anyone who was found guilty of a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor that was committed while they were 16 or 17 years old, provided they have spent at least a decade without any additional convictions. Under his plan, Cuomo intends to invite those people to apply for — and virtually be assured of receiving — a governor’s pardon, as long as they meet several other criteria.
In a phone interview, Cuomo, a Democrat, said his plan would provide second chances to generations of once-youthful offenders who had long since abandoned their criminal lives but continue to be dogged by their criminal pasts.
[Image via Google search: “Andrew M. Cuomo”]
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